The Canadian Tulip Festival, which is held in Ottawa and features millions of tulips, has grown into the largest festival of its kind and is renowned throughout the world. Each year the festival sees tens of thousands of visitors to its sites. The festival runs from May 5th until May 23rd. This is the 53rd edition of the Canadian Tulip Festival. The theme of this year's festival is "A Celebration of Peace and Friendship" and this is to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II along with our friendship with the people of the Netherlands. The Dutch, because they were so thankful to the Canadian soldiers who sacrificed their lives to liberate the Netherlands, gave the Gift of Tulips to Canada to express their gratitude and this gift gave birth to what has now become the Canadian Tulip Festival.
Celebrations this year will include the opening of the new Canadian War Museum, the Ottawa 150 Tulip art festival which will celebrate the city of Ottawa's 150th anniversary, Dows Flotilla weekend, and 19 days of tulips at the Casino du Lac-Leamy. Once you get to Ottawa getting around to the various tulip sites has been made very easy by a Tulip shuttle, which is a bus costing $2.50 unlimited usage for one day. The shuttle will bring you along its 15 kilometre route to the five official tulip sites, including Commissioners Park (where there are over 300,000 tulips, artisan booths, and restaurants) at Dows Lake, Parliament Hill, Capital Infocentre, Major's Hill Park (where there are many artisan booths, stalls representing different nations, food booths, art booths, activity tents for children, inflatable games, and a concert stage), and Casino du Lac-Leamy.
If you are planning to go again and again or see most of the sites the most economical way to do this is to purchase the $15 Tulip Experience Passport. The Tulip Experience Passport includes admission to the five official tulip sites, admission to one of the Get Out! concert series (artists performing include The Tea Party, Sarah Harmer, Shawn Desman, Ron Sexsmith, and Hawksley Workman), a "passport" photo of you with the tulips, free shuttle rides, discount coupons for local restaurants and attractions, and a chance to win four VIA 1 first-class return tickets to anywhere on the Quebec City-Windsor corridor. If only one or a few of the sites interest you then the admission prices range from $3 to $10 for the official tulip sites and $10-$15 for each of the concerts.
For more detailed information about the festival you can log onto www.tulipfestival.ca